One of the most important human resources decisions that clients have to make is the selection or hiring of individuals for key positions in their organizations. There are a number of methods and procedures available to help determine the best type of candidate for any given position. At Ellis Locke & Associates we are experts in state-of-the-art job analysis techniques, assessment methodologies and selection tools.
The first step is to ensure that we have a thorough understanding of the requirements of the target position. Using one of a number of job analysis processes available to us, we identify the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies that will be required for effective performance on the job. In some cases, it may be possible to use relevant job information that has already been compiled by the client as the basis for identifying these requirements.
We then match the most appropriate selection tools to the specific knowledge areas, skills, abilities and competencies that require assessment. For example, for a senior position, we may recommend a series of ability and personality tests followed by an in-depth structured interview. For more junior positions, we may recommend the completion of a structured application form that specifically targets key experiences or evidence of competency functioning.
Behavioural Interviewing Techniques
One of the most effective tools that we use and that we recommend is the behavioural interview. Our consultants frequently conduct these interviews but we can also train our clients to conduct the interviews themselves.
Behavioural interviewing techniques are particularly important in hiring situations. In the past, hiring interviews have often been carried out in an unstructured fashion with managers essentially basing their decisions on intuition and “gut feel”. Research has shown that the ability of the interviewers to accurately predict future performance on the job is substantially increased if the interview is “structured”, i.e., based on a pre-determined set of competency-based interview questions targeted specifically on actual job requirements. Research has also shown that using team interviews rather than relying on a one-on-one format increases the predictive accuracy. In addition, the appropriate use of “behavioural” and “situational” questions, along with the use of good “probing” techniques, further increases the predictive validity of the interview process. The traditional unstructured approach not only has lower validity but also leaves organizations open to the possibility that interviewers will ask questions or raise topics that are prohibited by federal and provincial human rights legislation.
Ellis Locke & Associates has designed and delivered a variety of workshops on selection interviewing. Participants who take this training learn skills that enable them to construct effective interview questions, prepare for and “stage manage” the interview process, probe more deeply into important skill areas, and deal with specific “problem interviewee” behaviours.